How to Make Handmade Candles

how to make handmade candlesBefore the days of electricity, candles were a necessity in every home. Now they are enjoyed primarily for the unique way that they create ambience, or, for candles made with essential oils, for their aromatic properties.

Turning off the lights for a few hours and enjoying the evening by candlelight can save money on your electric bill, too, and is a pleasant reminder of days gone by.

When making candles out of hot wax, it’s a good idea to keep some baking soda nearby. If wax lights on fire, it reacts similarly to a grease fire, which is only aggravated by water. Douse a wax fire with baking soda, and it will extinguish quickly.

Rather than pouring leftover wax down the drain (which will clog your drain and is bad for the environment), dump it into a jar and set it aside. If you continue to make candles, eventually your leftovers will become a unique layered jar candle.

Jarred Soy Candles

Soy candles are environmentally friendly and easy candles to make. You can find most of the ingredients and materials needed to make soy candles at your local arts and crafts store – or even in your own kitchen!


  • 1 lb soy wax (either in bars or flakes)
  • 1 ounce essential oil (for fragrance)
  • Natural dye (try using dried and powdered beets for red, turmeric for yellow, or blueberries for blue)


  • Stove
  • Pan to heat wax (a double boiler is best)
  • Spoon
  • Glass thermometer
  • Candle wick (you can find this at your local arts and crafts store)
  • Metal washers
  • Pencils or chopsticks
  • Heatproof cup to pour your melted wax into the jars
  • Jar to hold he candle (jelly jars or other glass jars work well)

how to make handmade candlesDirections

  1. Put the wax in a pan or a double boiler and heat it slowly over medium heat. Heat the wax to 130 to 140 degrees F or until it’s completely melted.
  2. Remove the wax from the heat. Add the essential oil and dye (optional) and stir into the melted wax until completely dissolved.
  3. Allow the wax to cool slightly, until it becomes cloudy.
  4. While the wax is cooling, prepare your wick in the glass container. It is best to have a wick with a metal disk on the end – this will help stabilize it while the candle is hardening. If your wick does not already have a metal disk at the end, you can easily attach a thin metal washer to the end of the wick, tying a know until the wick can no longer pass through the washer. Position the wick in the glss container and, using a pencil or chopstick, wrap the excess wick around the middle and then, laying the pencil or chopstick on the rim of the container, position the wick so it falls in the center.
  5. Using the heatproof cup or the container from the double boiler, carefully pour the cloudy wax into the glass container, being careful not to disturb the wick from the center.
  6. Allow the candle to dry for at least 24 hours before cutting off the excess wick and using.

Remember, YOU have the CHOICE to make it a GREAT day!

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Evan Scoresby
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